Four 2008 Films You Should Rent This Summer
(in no particular order)
1. Let the Right One In
If you like stark, beautiful, bloody vampire films set during the dark, snowy Norwegian winter, then you'll love this film. It's gorgeously shot, smartly executed and features amazing performances by two 12-year-old actors: Kåre Hedebrant, who plays Oskar, a boy plagued by school bullies, and Lina Leandersson as Eli, the vampire stuck in a child's body who befriends him.
2. Happy Go Lucky
There's good reason this film was nominated for a screenwriting Oscar and that Sally Hawkins won a Golden Globe for her role in this charming, sharp vehicle about a woman named Poppy and her incurable optimism. But Happy-Go-Lucky isn't just your run-of-the-mill playful comedy; it's also a thoughtful exploration of the human psyche and much more complex than it's cheerful title might suggest. Happiness, like all things, is in the eye of the beholder. And besides the joy of watching a smart comedy, I also really loved the heartfelt and completely uninhibited friendship between Poppy and her best friend/roommate Zoe (Alexis Zegerman).
3. I've Loved You So Long
Kristin Scott Thomas and Elsa Zylberstein will take your breath away in this poignant French drama about two estranged sisters who were separated by a horrible tragedy and reconnect after fifteen years. A truly phenomenal actor, Kristin Scott Thomas only gets better and better, and I think this might be one of her most stunning performances to date. She and Zylberstein will break your heart and then slowly put it back together as their characters reconcile their shared history and come to terms with the traumas of the past.
4. Rachel Getting Married
I never gave Anne Hathaway much thought before I saw this film and now...I absolutely adore her. She's really quite brilliant as the black sheep, home from rehab to attend her sister's wedding. The film is equal parts heartrending drama and familial comedy, betrayal and forgiveness, guilt and redemption. Touching and clever and full of music (TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe guest stars as the groom), it's no small wonder that Anne Hathaway was nominated for an Oscar and the film came out to critical acclaim this past summer.
But those are just some films I've enjoyed? What would you recommend I watch this summer?
(PS: Isn't it funny how all the film posters/DVD covers seem to favor the same basic layout--i.e. the face of the leading lady offset to the right and surrounded by text and critics' praise? Interesting...)